August 01, 2018WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro Public Library Director Cindy Scott provided the Board of Selectmen with a status report on the building renovation and expansion plans at the July 25 meeting and invited members and the public to come to the library's Open House on Saturday, Aug. 18.
Since the overwhelming vote of approval of the project in March, said Scott, the Library Building Committee, which includes library staff, has been working on the details with the architects. The footprint remains the same, but the plan has evolved, with a slight change to the exterior look. Scott said along the way to finalization, they realized they needed to add another emergency exit and a janitor's closet.
Scott assured the board that the library will continue to offer its services during the construction process, which entails facing the challenge of fitting everything into half of the existing building during the project.
The bid estimates are pretty close to the 2017 projection; however, the parking lot will need to be reduced slightly, possibly affecting ten spaces and reducing the island, but she said the total number of spaces is 66 and more could be added later.
A bid alternate (i.e. priced separately) has been included to reduce energy consumption of the new facility by an additional one third, bringing the total reduction to two thirds, and that much closer to being a net zero ready building. Scott said the Wolfeboro Public Library Foundation (WPLF) has risen to the challenge of raising an estimated $150,000 in private funds for the increased insulation, higher R value windows,(from R4 to R8) and controls necessary to achieve that efficiency goal.
Paul O'Brien, Selectman and chairman of the Master Plan Energy Chapter subcommittee, said he was excited about the $150,000 challenge to raise funds in approximately a month.
"It will keep operating costs down and offer a break to taxpayers," said O'Brien.
He asked if he was correct in saying that Wolfeboro is in competition with Peterborough to be first in the state to have a net zero energy building.
Scott verified the claim and John Sandeen, chairman of the WPLF, stepped forward to report $30,000 has been pledged already and note that if the goal is met, the town will be able to bring its library's operating costs down to $10,000 a year, "a really good payback." He added that whatever comes in will be used for energy efficiency, even if the entire amount is not raised.
According to Scott, the building committee expects to have the bids back in early September and break ground later that month, starting with the parking lot along the east side of the library and the new section in front. The foundation would be installed in October, the new pitched roof over the entire library would be done in November of this year (may necessitate a two week closure), and the new section could be complete by March 2019. The library would then move into the new area while the existing building is renovated.
The expectation is that the project will "hopefully" finish by September 2019, a timeline O'Brien termed "ambitious." A photographic record of the construction process will be undertaken by photographers Bob Ness and Russell Schundler.
Scott said she plans to give two presentations during the Open House, one at 10 a.m., the other at 1 p.m. Visitors will also be able to identify the areas where the building will expand.